Boogielander Build - Part 0 - Bye 4Runner

My 2017 Toyota 4Runner has been great for me in the past 5 years and nothing's wrong with it mechanically. However, with more wheeling experience under my belt and more gears added, I felt like a full-size pick-up truck is very much needed. 

In this article dedicated to bidding farewell to my 4Runner, I'll be detailing what I loved about the 4Runner and why I decided to let it go. 

What I loved:

  • Dimension: The 4Runner, to me, is a perfect all-around vehicle. It is spacious enough to fit groceries, offroad gears, and everything else. It is also perfectly sized to go through lots of narrow trails easily while being wide enough to be stable during higher speed runs. It is no Jeep, but with proper technique and experiences, you can do quite a lot (not all) of Jeep things with it.
  • Aftermarket support: Toyota offroad platforms like 4Runner has gained a lot of traction in the recent years, so there are plenty of fabricators making aftermarket accessories for it. Need more storage? No problem, Rago Fabrication Molle Panels got you covered. Need a roof rack? Not a problem, there are plenty of options to choose from. Need bumpers? Same story. Need armors like skid plates and sliders? You got at least 10 companies you can pick. Whatever you need, if you can think of it, someone probably made it already. 
  • Reliability: Of the 5 years and countless off-pavement miles, whether it is crawling rocks, traversing snow, ripping through desert at high speed and accidentally getting air time, or fighting not to get stuck in sand dunes, the 4Runner just took them all without any issues. Nothing from the factory broke in the 80-something thousand miles that I've put it through.
The memories: From the beginning this rig was filled with memories. This was the rig that my friends and I day tripped to Phoenix to take delivery of, and was also the rig that I learned to wheel in. Ultimately, this was also the rig that many new friendships were built around with. 

    What I hated:

    • Lack of power: the 5speed paired with V6 are reliable, but at the same time not so powerful, especially for a nearly built out rig like mine. With 33" tires, full armor, front bumper, roof tent, and a rear drawer, the rig was struggling to put down enough power. Sure, I could force-induction it, but I didn't want to mess with the engine. 
    • Sway bar end link issue: The factory front sway bar end link design was terrible, and adjustable end links are required when lifted enough. When the end link breaks, it will cut open your CV boot and that's a royal pain in the rear end to replace because of how messy it is. I broke my driver side in one week in April and fixed the problem, only to have the same thing happen on the passenger side the week after. Needless to say how pissed I was and that's when I decided to yank out the sway bar. 
      Running no sway bar helps with articulation while offroading, but the body leans too much in cornering. and overall vehicular handling was terrible. One way to fix that is to do long travel suspension and rely on shock valving to resist body lean, but that is another too expensive solution. 
    • Too popular: The Toyota platform popularity has gain a lot of aftermarket support, but also too many "riced out" builds. Think of it as the riced out Honda shitboxes you see from back in the days; it's the same thing, but with more expensive rigs.
    5 years ago, when I started with the original Boogielander (the 4Runner) built, I didn't know much about offroading or overlanding. But I had two central ideas that affected every decision I made about the parts that I put on: function over form, and buy once cry once. That's why every accessory I put in all serve a function, and I spare no expense on picking the best. 
    Do I regret selling the 4Runner? Yes, I absolutely do. But the spirit and the knowledge I've learned with the 4Runner remains, and will be carried over to the new Boogielander build.
    Bye bye, 4Runner. 

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